the psychic

When we were in New Orleans I went to see a psychic! The meeting was a gift from my aunt. She and her best friend had had their cards and auras read when they’d visited before and I loved listening to their experiences, so we decided to find someone to read me.  Plus, it sounded like a fun way to kill a little time between daiquiris.

So we found a little voodoo shop where they offered readings and I sat down with ________. I can’t remember her name. Can you believe it? That’s either a really bad sign or a really good sign.

Either way, I spent half an hour with this friendly older lady who closed her eyes tightly and tried to “feel my energy.” I like astrology and will happily read about it from time to time, and I can suspend my disbelief with things like ghosts and mediums and the existence of auras. I’m not a believer nor a detractor. I’m just along for the ride and happy to participate and explore.

So it was fun to watch this sweet woman try to pick up clues about me, either from my tone of voice or the information I was giving her, or because of her innate ability to read my energy. I don’t really care which it was, and perhaps they’re one in the same. Regardless, it was a fun self-indulgence to have someone talk to me about myself for 30 minutes straight.

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talent. luck. discipline.

The hardest part about the career game I’m playing right now – the one where I have this day job that doesn’t exactly do it for me so that I can support the dream career I’m working toward in the meantime – is the waiting.

Sometimes I feel like I’m over here treading water from 9-5 while I figure out the rest of it. And sometimes I wonder how long that’s gonna take.

I know it’s different every time I post – I like the day job, I hate the day job, I can live with it, it’s really healthy for me, I want to kill myself. And as inconsistent as that might be for you who are witnessing this journey, it feels just as inconsistent for me. I really do hate the job one day and feel grateful for it the next. It supports me financially and affords me the opportunity to keep pursuing my goals, but not without a serious drain on my mental and emotional state.

I guess that’s called a catch 22.

Lorne Michaels’ was recently on “Master Class” on the OWN Network (yes!) and he said something that has since been running through my mind. He said that the three things required to make it in this comedy world are talent, luck and discipline. And then he added that even when you have all three you’re not guaranteed to succeed, but you have to have all three to even have the option.

Heartwarming and terrifying all at once. Of course there are exceptions to his rule, but he’s right. Talent and luck are obvious, and anyone I know personally who has been successful as an actor, writer, comedian, etc. worked very hard to get there.

Lying in bed last night, a list of my own popped into my mind. Not necessarily a list of things one needs in order to be successful, but traits that I personally need to keep cultivating to stay sane.

Patience, trust, optimism and discipline.

Maybe not it’s not the humblest move to selectively edit wisdom from the guy who created Saturday Night Live, but you won’t tell him, right?

The thing is, sometimes I wonder WHAT THE EFF I’m doing. I’m 30 years old and I’m still playing dress up, playing make-it-up, putting on little performances, little skitties, writing stories and giggling with my friends. I never grew out of it. And I want to make a CAREER out of that? Because I am who, again? Someone special? Or just another one of the people in the sea that is this industry, fighting to earn a paycheck.

But on the flipside (and drawing from that necessary optimism), I remind myself that there are jobs to be had in this industry, I’ve watched so many of my peers move to the next level, I get to do what I love almost every night of the week, and most importantly, nothing is more exhilarating to me than performing and writing.

Last Friday night, we did an HST show with only half the team because the other half was out of town. We play each other’s parts all the time but I was nervous about one particular sketch. I’d never done it before and it’s kind of intense. But I did it. It went well, people laughed and enjoyed themselves, and felt like a million bucks afterward. It reminded me how capable I am, and that I need to trust myself more often. It also made me feel like I’d just run a mile or eaten a really incredible meal.

I felt filled up. What other information do I really need.

So, I’ll pray for patience, trust, optimism and discipline…and the wisdom to defer to Lorne Michaels’ list too.

it’s time for a pot of coffee

I’ve been snuggled up in my house watching Dexter and Weeds for the last 20 hours. It’s been fantastic.

Tonight we’ll venture out to a New Year’s Eve party in Greenpoint with good friends. I’m thinking we’ll cab there and back and really enjoy ourselves.

My only plan for tomorrow is a yoga class. An indulgent, yummy, relaxing one.

Right now I’m off to make a pot of coffee.

I’m having a great holiday break.

 

today

I woke up early this morning, got dressed, made myself an egg sandwich and commuted over the sunny Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. I had to stand on the train, and my feet were killing me by the time I got to the office. But I really didn’t mind too much. The walk from the subway to my office building is lovely.

I’m not exactly allowed to and don’t plan to talk in detail about this job. I don’t want to risk it. I’ll say that I like the people I work with so far, I have a fair amount of responsibility and a lot of freedom too, I don’t mind the work and I don’t have to answer phones (!).

If I have to have a paycheck job this appears to be a good one. I’m lucky.

I came straight home from work tonight, ate dinner, and worked with Harvard Sailing Team on a project. And now I’m exhausted. Goodnight.

my new job

I’m back in Brooklyn after a great week in Los Angeles. I had a blast on the trip, but I’m glad to be home – I am reminded how much I love New York City.

Today, Kevin made us brunch, then we did some shopping (new shoes!), and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge in the evening. It was perfect.

Los Angeles was an awesome experience for Harvard Sailing Team. We had so much fun together, got a lot done, and things are moving in a great direction right now – we’re definitely pinching ourselves.
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los angeles!

Our HST trip to Los Angeles has been a blast so far! We had a private screening of our new movie the first night we arrived, and we’ll do another screening plus a live show on Tuesday night at the UCB LA.

We’ve also had a productive writing meeting, gotten to see some sights, hiked up Runyon Canyon, and had a delicious BBQ at our friend Marina’s parents’ house.

I’m loving the weather (obviously) and having a great time driving around, which I get to do so rarely in New York. (It is a little crazy to look around on the freeways and see that most cars only have one person in them – seems like such a waste.)

I’m excited that we’re still here for another five days – I’m really enjoying myself and trying to relax before returning to the hustle of New York. This city seems like a lovely marriage of the urban and suburban experience. Plus, so many taco stands!

a great cause

Do you remember my cousin Trisha? She’s the amazing young woman who sent me an email last year when I was still at my desk job telling me that she’d landed a job at Kansas State University that was a dream come true for her. She wrote “I took the leap, I left a job where I was miserable, I made a change and took a big risk…I am happy.” Yes! Love her.

Well, over a year later she’s now flourishing at that same dream job. Last December she got to go to Kenya as part of her work with the university’s partnership with the CYEC, “a developing nonprofit that does some incredible work,” she told me recently in an email. And she’s going back to Kenya again this year!

She’s been working with this Kenyan youth organization “on social entrepreneurship, education, volunteer training, sustainable agriculture, fund raising and more!”

And now the CYEC is competing in an international competition through a program called Global Giving. They’ve already raised over $5,000 from over 70 donors, but they still have over $14K left to go!

I know spare money is hard to come by for a lot of people right now, but if you’re looking for a great organization to donate to, consider giving to the CYEC through Global Giving. Click this link to help “educate and empower street children in Kenya.”

🙂

fanny & jane 2010

This post doesn’t contain my “secret,” but it doesn’t contain a detail a few of you have been begging me to reveal!

What the heck is the status of Fanny & Jane this holiday season?

The short answer: We’re not opening the bakery for the 2010 holidays. Waaah!! I know, I know.

Here’s why:

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i remember now

I told you in my last post that I’m temping in an office for the next three weeks. I wrote, “I’m actually excited to go back to an office environment to remind myself what it’s like.

Well, I remember now! IT SUCKS.

I mean, it’s fine. But it’s not my thing.

So far I’m doing a good job, staying focused and not allowing myself to feel like a fraud. I’m keeping in perspective that I’m more than someone’s assistant. It also helps that I know it’s only temporary, and that I have a full, colorful career on the outside.

But I also remember all too well when this corporate world was my every day and I didn’t always feel so hopeful. It makes me sad to think about the years I spent feeling trapped and unhappy.

So, why does it suck? Well, first of all I’m exhausted! After an hour working on a legal document I need three coffees and a hard smack in the face. The harsh lighting makes me feel grouchy, my commute this morning almost resulted in the death of everyone in my immediate vicinity, and the stupid printer jams all the time! It’s 2010! How is that still happening?!

I also can’t stand the fact that I’m always hungry, thirsty or really have to pee when I’m sitting at that desk. I can’t seem to strike a balance of physical contentment no matter what I do.

Still, I have had a few positive reminders that I’ll definitely take with me when these three weeks are over:

1. After lots of years of experience, I’m good at this type of job. I don’t like the work, but if I was so broke that I didn’t have another choice, I’ve got this skill set to fall back on.

2. Making it my business to do a good job no matter what task is in front of me is more fun (fun?) and easier than being pissed off and resentful. Taking notes instead of pretending I’ll remember everything helps too.

3. Getting older makes some things harder, but it makes a lot of things easier. I remember when I started my first-ever law firm job at age 23. I was terrified. Now I’m just amused.

4. If you’re not happy in your job you don’t have to work there. I’ve already passed so many people in the halls of the office who look a little dead inside. I want to slide them a note that says “Remember, you have options…”

another perspective

I’ve had a great weekend but I’m glad it’s over. I drank way too much both Friday and Saturday nights, had so much fun, got to catch up with a bunch of good friends, and we did our first HST show of the fall season, which was a blast. But I’m really paying for it today. My tongue feels fuzzy and my eyes ache.

What’s worse is that I had to work today. On a Sunday! I landed a great temp gig at a law firm. (A law firm?!! I know, I know.) It’s very temporary, just three weeks, and the money is good. I’m actually excited to go back to an office environment to remind myself what it’s like. And temping for these three weeks will give me room to do a lot of fun, creative stuff this fall.

I went into the office for just a few hours today, met the woman I’ll be assisting and did some work. It was easy and fine and I’m eager to do a good job.

One of the big things I’ve realized since leaving my desk job last year was how much I allowed myself to feel like a fraud when I worked there. That fact has been at the forefront of my mind so often lately that I wrote an article about it for Spring this week called “Job Fraud.” I felt like a liar at my old job, like I didn’t belong, like I had to pretend every single day that I cared about what I was doing and wanted to keep doing it.

But going back into an office today for the first time in 11 months made me realize that I don’t have to feel like a fraud just because I’m working a gig I’m not passionate about. There’s another perspective.

I’m trying to make my living as a writer, an actor, a comedian, a blogger, and whatever else comes up that inspires me – and I work hard on those pursuits every day. They’re careers that take time to build and don’t pay a lot when you’re starting out, so I still have to have some paycheck gigs to make ends meet right now. But for the first time in my professional life, I don’t feel resentful about the paycheck jobs. I feel grateful for them. Because I’m using the rest of my energy to build something better.

So, I’ll let you know how it goes!! Assisting an attorney again will be a little like I’m visiting an old life, stepping back in time, but armed with the wisdom I’ve gained in the last year.

I don’t have to feel like a fraud. I’m a creative professional whose fab office skills will pay her rent this month. And I’m proud of it.